Will doing your own estate plan cost heirs?

By: Liz Weston

Estate planning mistakes can be expensive to fix — that is, when they can be fixed at all. That’s the thought that haunts New York attorney Mari Galvin, whether she’s creating an estate plan for a client or confronting the aftermath when people didn’t properly plan. “People think, ‘Oh, I have a simple life,’ but you have to understand (that if) you make a mistake and you ... READ MORE

No pension? How to make your money last

By: Anya Kamenetz

Delay retirement until age 70. Invest in stocks, not bonds. And draw down your retirement account savings in line with IRS rules on required minimum distributions (RMDs), which start at 3.6 percent a year at age 70 1/2. That’s the safest recipe for retirement planning, according to a new analysis (“How to Pensionize any IRA or 401(k)”) from the Stanford Center on Longevity at... READ MORE

How to spot scams in the mail and online

By: Sean McDonnell

There is no shortage of ways for crooks to try to separate you from your money. All it takes is letting your guard down for one moment, or overlooking the warning signs of fraud, for scammers to steal your personal information. In 2016, thieves stole more than $16 billion from 15.4 million consumers, according to a report by Javelin Strategy & Research. Older adults are frequently... READ MORE

How to avoid huge, surprise medical bills

By: Tom Murphy

The winter’s nasty flu season may smack patients with a financial side effect: surprise medical bills. People who wind up in the emergency room or need an ambulance can be blindsided by hefty, unexpected charges. This often happens after patients visit a doctor or hospital outside their insurance network. Insurance deductibles that reset every January and must be paid before... READ MORE

Top tips for filing your 2017 tax return

By: Kevin McCormally

All the hoopla about the tax law signed by President Trump can obscure a sneaky little secret: The rules pertaining to the 2017 tax return you’re working on now are almost exactly the same as they were before Congress gave us the biggest tax overhaul in more than 30 years. Although 41 percent of respondents to a recent poll thought otherwise, almost all of the changes, including... READ MORE

Great credit scores lead to monetary perks

By: Gregory Karp

As average credit scores for Americans continue to rise, the question for many becomes how to use their excellent credit rating to optimize their lives without borrowing money or adding risk. Capitalizing on great credit doesn’t have to mean incurring great debt; instead, it’s about using your money reputation for a financial advantage. “In the right hands, a good credit rating... READ MORE